This post lists the best free walking tours you can take in Cologne, Germany, including self-guided tours and small-group tours.
- What is a Free Walking Tour?
- Guided Walking Tours
- Self-Guided Tours
- Visit Cologne Cathedral
- Free Tours in Other Cities
WHAT ARE FREE WALKING TOURS?
Free walking tours are technically pay-what-you-like tours.
Instead of paying an upfront cost, you can pay the guide what you thought the tour was worth at the end.
This means these tours are very popular and affordable and attract large crowds.
So, for travelers who want to ensure an experience with fewer guests, we recommend taking paid small-group tours.
TIP: Take the popular hop-on-hop-off bus tour through Cologne for an easy mode of transportation that can help you cover more ground than you would while walking. Plus, this bus tour comes with a 1-hour cruise down the Rhine river!
WALKING TOURS IN COLOGNE
Here is a list of the best pay-what-you-like walking tours that run in the city of Cologne.
Kai's Cologne Tours
This professional licensed tour guide provides a pay-what-you-wish free walking tour of Cologne's Old Town which covers most of the significant landmarks in the city over the course of 2 hours.
You can take this tour from Saturday - Tuesday at either 10 am or 1 pm in English, and it is also available in Spanish at 10 am.
Kai also offers a free introduction to Cologne tour on weekends at 11 am. This outing is a bit longer at 2 hours 30 minutes in duration.
Aylin's Cologne Tours
If you're looking for an introductory tour of Cologne that covers the most notable landmarks in the city, Aylin's 12 years of experience as a tour guide should come in quite handy!
Currently, she's offering a 2-hour pay-what-you-want tour which is offered weekly on Thursdays from 11 am to 1 pm.
This tour is also sometimes offered on Saturdays at 11:30 am.
Free Walk Cologne
Free Walk Cologne offers 2 daily pay-what-you-like walking tours. There is no need to book in advance.
These tours run rain or shine and are led by local guides who are passionate about showing you the unmissable sites of the city. Guides are excited to share with you stories from the city's years of history.
The free tours are offered in English, German, and Spanish.
A popular, and off-beat tour of theirs is the "Dark Side of the Dom tour.
You may have visited the Cologne Cathedral, the magnificent Unesco world heritage site or perhaps you plan to.
But has anyone told you about the dark side of medieval life in Cologne?
Hear legends about witches, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night!
This tour does not go inside the cathedral but you can! Read our post on How to Visit Cologne Cathedral.
Can You Handle It Tours
Can You Handle It Tours offers a 3-hour free tour of Cologne tour every day at 10:00 am.
If you'd rather have an afternoon walk, they start at 15:00 every Saturday and Sunday.
You'll learn about the city's history as well as current popular spots for entertainment, food, and drinks.
They ask you to book in advance for a guaranteed spot, but you can show up to see if there's space.
Alternative Cologne Free Tours
If you're looking to learn a little more about the off-beat areas of Cologne and see some street art, take a free walking tour with Alternative Cologne.
They offer tours from Fridays through Sundays and Wednesdays.
SELF-GUIDED WALKING TOURS
Self-guided walking tours are perfect for exploring on your own schedule. You choose the starting time and move at your own pace.
This interactive self-guided walking tour map will direct you on a walk around Cologne's city centre.
However, there is little to no description of each of the points of interest on the map. You'd really be self-guiding this tour!
Travel Passionate Blog
This travel blog gives you a sample itinerary for a full day in Cologne, with lots of options to choose from.
It includes top sites, food recommendations, and even help using the Cologne transportation system.
Cologne City Discovery Game
While not free, this fun and interactive riddle game will help you explore Cologne at your own pace.
After purchasing and downloading the app to your phone, it will send you on an approximately 3-hour journey aided by riddles that will lead you to the next stop on the tour.
Haunted Cologne Self-Guided Game
If you're looking for an alternative to the traditional tour, this self-guided exploration game introduces you to discover the most haunted streets, villas, and squares in the city.
Learn the haunted stories around the Cologne Cathedral, Alter Market, and more.
This self-guided game allows you to explore the city at your own pace as you discover some of the most haunted locations in Cologne.
Although this isn't a free service, at only €10 for up to 4 people, this self-guided game costs about as much as you might tip for a pay-what-you-want walking tour.